Experience of an Older Person
Following the loss of her husband of 60 years and moving to a small bungalow, Annie found that she was becoming isolated and lonely. She badly missed "my Ernie" and the memories of her previous home.
The nurse practitioner from Annie's GP practice was worried about her loneliness and state of mind, so suggested befriending with Essex Befriends. Annie agreed and spoke to a coordinator who explained how the system worked and asked her about her life and interests to make a suitable match. The coordinator learnt that Annie didn’t want anyone old and miserable calling her.
Nancy, an 18-year-old waiting to go to university, was selected. This was a risk as they might have had nothing in common. Nancy describes the first call as being one of nervous tension until she mentioned Zoom. Annie thought she was referring to someone rushing around in a car so when Nancy explained that it was a 'video communication platform' the pair started to laugh together and by the time they had spoken about platforms having a different meaning from train station platforms, the pair had well and truly broken the ice. They now talk to each other regularly and Annie describes Nancy as “my extra granddaughter”.
Nancy has shown Annie how to use social media and now Annie has regular contact with her family via Skype and Zoom. “Without Nancy my world would still be dark but she has brought the light back”, Annie said recently.
They both look forward to their chats where two generations share their experiences to the benefit of both.